My blog is not about politics. It is about recording events which occur within my world, which affect my daily life or which I believe need to be written down for me to reflect back on at some point in the future.
The referendum which took place in the United Kingdom on Thursday 23rd June 2016 is one such event.
I arrived back in England as the polls were closing and, like most people I know, went to bed thinking the result was a forgone conclusion. While it was likely to be close, the British people would vote to remain.
As we now know, they did not!!
This is without doubt the biggest political upheaval that I can recall. We have had recessions; several of them. Wars. Terrorist attacks. Various governments of differing, and occasionally extreme, views. But never have the British people made a decision which cannot be reversed or undone.
The United Kingdom joined the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973. In 1975 there was a referendum to decide if we were to remain which was won by a sizeable majority. The club we joined was all about trade, a “common market” which allowed the free movement of goods, services and people between member states. However, over the years it became more of a political movement adding additional member states and, most significantly, creating a single currency which came into existence on the 1st January 1999. At some point its name was changed to the European Community (EC) and then European Union (EU).
As the remit of the EU changed and the organisation grew, many people of all political views, and large sections of the popular press, became increasingly hostile to an organisation based on main land Europe which had such an apparent hold on the lives of the British people.
In an attempt to draw a line under the EU issue the current conservative government, lead by David Cameron, made the decision to “renegotiate” our membership with the EU and then give the people the opportunity to either Remain or Leave. We now know how that ended.
The United Kingdom now has to negotiate its exit from the EU and its new position in the world. It has to negotiate trade agreements with all other markets and it has to close the legislative gaps which will be exposed as Brexit becomes a reality. All while attempting to maintain a stable economy.
How will this play out, only time will tell.
I suggest you hold on tight as it is likely to be a very bumpy ride.